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Historical Novel Immortalizes Civil War Widow Mary Jane Arnott Smith

An author from the historic Monroe County pens a fictionalized story of a woman who traveled among enemy troops to retrieve her husband’s body.

Annandale, VA – WEBWIRE

God handpicks special women to be soldiers’ wives, and Mary Jane Arnott Smith was one of them.

This is not the usual story about generals and the military but about the women and children at home during the Civil War.
Author Joe B. Roles of Salt Sulphur Springs puts the spotlight on a soldier’s wife in his historical period novel “Mary Jane’s War: A Civil War Novel Based on a True Story” (Infinity Publishing, 2016). He presents a fictionalized account of Mary Jane Arnott Smith, who is not only a soldier’s wife but also a widow; her husband died from wounds received in action during the Battle of New Market. What is so significant about her story?
The story of Mary Jane is one of heroism, courage, and love. She took a pair of mules and a wagon to travel 120 miles across the North Mountain and through enemy miles to retrieve her husband’s remains to bring home and give him a proper burial. It was during the winter of 1865 when the courageous widow made the journey.
Why would an author choose to write a book about an obscure widow? Mary Jane’s descendants settled in Lillydale, a community near Salt Sulphur Springs (where Roles was raised) in Monroe County. The author was drawn to Mary Jane’s story and decided to write and turn it into a film to preserve her history.
The story of a woman left widowed by war is just one of the many stories in America’s annals of war, but Mary Jane’s experience of war is no ordinary story. It proves that war does not only impact the lives of soldiers but also of their womenfolk. After all, women – wives and mothers – are the ones who will be hit the most intensely by war, they who will face the brunt of devastation.
In wartime, tales of valor abound, and history and literature should honor the women of valor. Readers of historical fiction could pay their tribute by purchasing a copy of Roles’ “Mary Jane’s War: A Civil War Novel Based on a True Story,” available at Amazon.
Mary Jane’s War: A Civil War Novel Based on a True Story
Written by Joe B. Roles
Published by: Infinity Publishing
Published date: May 5, 2016
Paperback price: $10.95
About the Author
Storyteller Joe B. Roles was raised in Salt Sulphur Springs, Monroe County, West Virginia where he sat under an apple tree and listened to stories from old timers. Mary Jane’s trip at the end of The Civil War haunted him until he put it in writing and now into a film to share with others.
A story of courage and character that will teach our younger generation the Christian principles that has made America great.

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 Historical Novel
 Civil War
 Fictionalized Story
 Mary Jane’s War

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